AIHEC is a unique—and uniquely American Indian—organization. Founded in 1973 by the presidents of the nation’s first six Tribal Colleges as an informal collaboration among member colleges, AIHEC represents the 37 Tribal Colleges and Universities in the United States and serves over 27,000 students from more than 250 tribal nations.
AIHEC serves the mutual needs of its members by:
- fostering the development and maintenance of the highest standards of quality education for American Indians and Alaska Natives by improving accessibility of education programs;
- increasing the amount of funding and expanding the number of public and private sector funding sources to obtain the highest level of financial support to our TCUs;
- serving as a liaison between TCUs and the Federal government;
- conducting research and data collection activities to support TCUs development and programs;
- gaining public recognition and support of TCUs nationally;
- meeting the critical technical assistance needs of our members;
- promoting leadership within the TCUs movement;
- expanding opportunities through technology;
- encouraging greater participation by American Indians in the development of higher education policy; and
- increasing involvement with international higher education organizations to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among indigenous groups.
The officers of AIHEC are elected at the annual fall Board of Directors meeting and serve on the Executive Committee of AIHEC.